In Soy el dueño de mi casa, Daniel Correa Mejía’s first solo exhibition with P·P·O·W, the artist presents a new series of paintings and ceramic sculptures which explore humanistic themes of loss, relationships, and collective being. Mejía’s practice combines painting, drawing, sculpture, and writing to mine imagery from his own subconscious and mythologize the landscape of his interior world. His highly symbolic figures personify various emotional states, becoming one with their scenery as contemporary society fades away and sacred, primordial knowledge is uncovered. Juxtaposing rich ultramarine with vibrant red on rough jute canvas, Mejía invokes the complimentary nature of masculine and feminine energies to summon the divine power of contrasting forces. In Soy el dueño de mi casa, or I am the owner of my house, Mejía grapples with the process of grief and loss, rediscovering sanctuary within the power of the human imagination and the interconnectivity of our shared planet.
Confronting himself with the complexity of being responsible for his own house, his own existence as a breathing and individual body, Mejía finds through his work an expanded notion of home- one that is not limited to four walls or even the confines of the physical body. In El Duelo, 2023, a solitary figure floats, arms and legs wrapped around himself, bracing to prevent disintegration while in La raíz de la existencia, 2023, a man is held within a tree’s animated branches. His faithful dog’s slumbering body is wrapped around the tree’s trunk while its roots drink from the water below. Serving as the title piece of the exhibition, Soy el dueño de mi casa, 2023, depicts a male figure empathetically embraced by a female deity with flowing hair, their bodies merging. A shell-like form protects the head of the held figure, providing a makeshift home. Conjuring such images and symbols that have recurred for thousands of years, Mejía connects us to the mystery of existence. Why are we here? How might we navigate our existence?
Honoring the natural purity of his materials, Mejía leaves areas of the jute canvases unpainted, using the fabric itself as a light source and connective tissue between the contrasting red and blue pigments. Similarly, Mejía’s ceramic sculptures are consciously left unglazed, allowing the naturally occurring shades of the terracotta to come into dialogue with each other as he sculpts. In works such as Soy el dueño de mi casa, 2023, the natural imperfections of the jute canvas punctuate the tender image. The earth-body connection depicted in his painted images takes on a physical embodiment in the ceramic works. Using terracotta, a term meaning ‘baked earth,’ Mejía sculpts the hands, the face, and the lungs from the land itself. Together, the paintings and ceramic works presented in Soy el dueño de mi casa highlight the tension and harmony between nature’s elements: water and fire, light and darkness, life and death. The exhibition’s installation mirrors this flux, revealing that home exists within the embrace of change and natural cycles of life. In the third room, darkened and tomb-like, a poem written by the artist reads:
“It’s me and the body flowing with everything absorbed
It’s me and the moon in its different phases
It’s me and the sun burning in flames
It’s me and the rain pouring down on the earth
It’s me and the wind drifting through space
It’s me and the Earth existing in gravity
It’s me, and the emotional poetry in search of reflections.”
Daniel Correa Mejía (b. 1986 Medellín, Colombia) is a visual artist based in Berlin. His solo exhibitions include Lucrecia, mor charpentier, Paris, FR; Soy hombre: duro poco y es enorme la noche, Fortnight Institute, New York, NY; Amor y Agua, Public Gallery, London, UK; and Die Klarheit, Colombian Embassy, Berlin, DE. His work has been included in group exhibitions at mor charpentier, Bogotá, COL; Maureen Paley, London, UK; P·P·O·W, New York, NY; Kunstverein Meissen, Meissen, DE; Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Medellín, COL; Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, BR, and New York, NY; Pony Royal, Berlin, DE; Fortnight Institute, New York, NY; and Galerie Crone, Berlin, DE, among others. His work has been featured in articles in Juxtapoz, Art Viewer, and Artnet, among others.